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There are some people who don't enjoy the available good time and sometimes it even worries them. I am not sure why, but they might think that they will miss those moment and suffer for the lack of it.

  • 2
    Weltschmertz, a German borrowing that goes along with Schadenfreude; both express rather unpleasant but common emotional states. – John Lawler Dec 20 '14 at 20:46
  • I've noticed this tendency in myself and wouldn't mind a concise name for it. In my case, it's the thinking that "this too shall pass". – David Lord Dec 21 '14 at 5:07

10 Answers 10

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One U.S. idiom for a person who constantly frets even when nothing is seriously wrong is worrywart. Here is the entry for that word in Barbara Kipfer & Robert Chapman, Dictionary of American Slang, fourth edition (2007):

worrywart n phr A person who worries excessively; a constantly apprehensive person {1956+; fr the designation of such a person in the comic strip "Out Our Way" by J R Williams}

Rosalind Fergusson, The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs (1983) has a relevant saying about people who can't relax and enjoy a pleasant situation:

He that has no ill fortune, is troubled with good. [The implication is that certain people will always find something to worry about]

The bracketed comments in the two quotations above appear in the original texts.

Charles Doyle, Wolfgang Mieder, and Fred Shapiro, The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (2012) has two sayings that address the senselessness of endless worrying:

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.

(which the dictionary traces to a collection of sayings from 1909) and

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.

(which it dates to 1916).


The state in which a worrywart is most comfortable (or uncomfortable) is sometimes termed worrywartism. From David Sue & Stanley Sue, Abnormal Behavior (1990) [combined snippets]:

Social phobics are frightened only of a specific activity performed in public; generalized anxiety disorder involves chronic "worrywartism."

So to describe the state of a person who can't fully enjoy a happy time because "this too shall pass," you could use the (somewhat unusual) idiomatic term "worrywartism" or the (somewhat specialized) clinical term "generalized anxiety disorder."

  • I like that expression, but it describes the person rather than the state. – ScotM Dec 20 '14 at 20:13
  • 1
    Good point, ScotM. But not to worry—I've added a brief discussion of "worrywartism" to my answer to deal with that shortcoming in my original answer. Thanks for pointing out the problem. – Sven Yargs Dec 20 '14 at 20:40
  • LOL! @Sven Yargs – ScotM Dec 20 '14 at 21:42
  • Maybe the condition is worrywortery – virmaior Dec 21 '14 at 0:17
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anhedonia is a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in normally pleasurable acts. Merriam-Webster

Inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities OED

from Wikipedia

  • Anhedonia is defined as the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions. It is a characteristic of mental disorders including mood disorders, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Note that anhedonia is a pathological condition. It's not a feeling or a personality trait, but a symptom of mental disorders like those listed in your answer. – ntoskrnl Dec 21 '14 at 15:57
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Someone fears that something is too good to last.

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You could call them a killjoy, a sourpuss, or a party pooper.

  • This describes the person, not the state – Clearer Dec 21 '14 at 14:07
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The word pessimism immediately comes to mind.

the tendency to see the bad side of things or to expect the worst in any situation:

"There has been a mood of growing pessimism about the nation’s economy."

Pessimism does not capture the idea of "terminating a happy time", but it it describes the state of mind that drives it.

The word trepidation could be more like what you are looking for.

worry or anxiety about something that is going to happen.

"With some trepidation, I set out to find my first job."

Trepidation is pessimism specifically directed in the future, but is more like the fear of "missing a good time" as opposed to "ruining a good time".

Wet blanket is and idiom that might capture what you have in mind.

"Her complaining was such a wet blanket that we decided to move the party to my place."

-sabotage in connection with various "objects" self-sabotage, social-sabotage, etc

VERB

Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something):

"Power lines from South Africa were sabotaged by rebel forces."

Cynicism would imply the person believed others would ruin the good time.

mistrust or disrespect for the goodness of other people and their actions, the belief that people are interested only in themselves:

"Listening to politicians for too long can make you cynical."

"She’s become cynical about men."

Neargasm is an urban coinage that I am particularly fond of, but it is not in normal dictionaries.

the frustration of being on the brink of something fantastic but never actually tasting that satisfaction.

"What a neargasm--the customer's daughter broke her arm just before I closed the deal."

Defeatism, gloom and "gloomy outlook" could work as well.

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Every silver lining has its cloud.

  • 1
    I had to re-read that one. Very good! – HarryCBurn Dec 21 '14 at 10:10
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I would say spoiling the moment

Apparently, this is popular enough to be used as a common musical lyric.

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Many, many idioms exist, but I'd probably say that the individual was borrowing trouble.

  • Is this an idiom in a particular dialect of English? It's not in BrE. – Andrew Leach Dec 22 '14 at 21:40
  • It's fairly common in American English. – keshlam Dec 22 '14 at 22:47
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"All good things must come to an end."

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"Memento mori" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a reminder of mortality". According to its Wikipedia page, the Latin phrase translates roughly to "remember (that you have) to die".

Supposedly conquering heroes returning to ancient Rome had someone sitting behind them in the chariot during their glorious victory parade who repeated this reminder, so as to help them maintain their perspective.

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